Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bamboo poles being used to supply power

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Bamboos are being used on the Rajshahi city protection embankment to supply power to houses violating Power Development Board rules. Photo: STAR
The Power Development Board (PDB) is using bamboo poles for supplying electricity to different areas in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) violating existing rules.

As per the rules, the PDB can give electricity connection from a standard pole to households at a maximum distance of 100 feet and the electricity cables have to be at least seven metres above the ground.

But the rules are being violated in many RCC areas including Bulonpur, Keshabpur, and Mirzapur.

Electricity is being supplied using bamboo poles to about 400 houses at Keshabpur several hundred feet away from a standard pole on the protection dam at Bulonpur.

Moreover, many bamboo poles used for supplying electricity were found in a bad shape with power cables hanging just overhead at some points.

Locals said four standard poles were installed in the area about six months ago but those still remain unused. They said although they had requested the PDB authorities several times to remove the bamboo poles that pose risks to the local residents, the PDB is yet to take any step.

The PDB had provided them electricity metres several years ago and they have been paying bills regularly, they added.

"I had informed the PDB authorities of the matter and also wrote to the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. But any step is yet to be taken to settle the issue," said RCC ward no-4 Commissioner Sajjad Hossain.

When contacted, Rajshahi PDB Chief Engineer Arjad Hossain admitted that supplying electricity using bamboo poles is a clear violation of existing rules.

Replying to a query, he said the bamboo poles used for supplying electricity would be removed during implementation of the Ten Town Development Project.

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